On our podcast, we like to ask guests what they now know about buying embedded BI that they wish they’d known back when they were BI rookies sifting through the market and attending their first product demos. Some of their insights were expected, but others surprised us!
Here’s some embedded BI purchasing advice from people who have been there, done that.
|“I think one of the biggest lessons would be making sure that you have your feature requirements written down. As you’re going through the demo, make sure you tick off those requirements. Make sure that the product you’re reviewing at the moment is hitting those key requirements. I think I wasted a lot of time with a lot of products that didn’t even come close to what we were trying to accomplish.”|
Senior Project Manager, Quorum Software
|“The first couple of times I went through and evaluated data platforms, I spent too much time on the technical aspects of the decision and not enough time on what I call like the ‘management ecosystem.’ You need to think through things like: How are you going to onboard a new customer? Can you set up demo instances for them? How are you going to get to all their different data sources? What happens when you have version 2.0 of your analytics ready and you need to roll out to 1,000 customers, some of whom are on 1.0 but others of whom are on a unique variant of the analytics that they’ve tailored to their own unique needs? So this management ecosystem–what it takes to keep the product out there running in the world–those are the things that I like to pay attention to now.”|
Principal Consultant and Founder, NextWave BI
|“What it came down to for us was the company that we were going to partner with. We found a really great company with great people that shared the same core values as we did.”|
Director of Product Management, Strategic Insurance Software
|“What we know now is kinda the nature of what end users actually need versus the nice whiz-bang features you see in a BI demo. The reality is, the folks who need the data just want the standard tabular reports and rarely the great dashboards we created for them.”|
Founder and Solutions Architect, Outbound Software
|“I think you should look at at least three providers and do a fair comparison between all their capabilities. I actually did some prototyping and solution work with all three vendors, so I would heavily recommend anybody who’s actually looking at this stuff to actually try it.”|
Senior Software Developer, Softerware
|“The thing that I would like to have had was a cloud-based solution. I really like the elasticity, the flexibility, and the ease of being able to give people access to BI from a cloud level, and back when I was a systems administrator, I wish I would have had that level of functionality.”|
Managing Research Director of BI and Data Warehousing, Enterprise Management Associates
|“We were really starting to see how important the concept of a BI engine–something we could then put our solution on top of–was. I had assumed that there were a lot more companies that were driving BI as a platform rather than as a sort of bolt-on product to some other environment. That flexibility was probably the biggest thing for us.”|
Founding Partner, Revolt Group
|“The thing you need to know is adoption is hard, and just picking the right solution is not going to solve your problem. It’s a necessary first step, but knowing the challenges you’re going to face and having strategies to not just select a reporting engine like Exago, not just embed it and release it to the market, but make it something that people really run with — I didn’t know when we started out with this adventure how hard that was going to be. I didn’t even know it was something I really had to think about.”|
Chief Solutions Architect, WorkWave
|“It’s about how the company responds to requests. Any vendor that you choose, you’re gonna wind up depending on them to upgrade a component or put a feature in that’s critical to your clientele.”|
VP Software Development, FM:Systems
|“You gotta look at their extensibility.You’ve got to look at the ability to interrupt standard processes and inject what you want to do to be able to put together a report on your own. If you can do that completely outside of the product, that’s going to give you some indication as to whether or not you can extend it. If it doesn’t have those hooks built into it, you’re going to struggle with having more granular control over how those reports are issued.”|
VP Product Development, Softerware
What BI purchasing advice would you offer the less experienced? Let us know in the comments!